Possessing the ability to hit a calculated fade or draw and control the shape of a golf ball's east-west trajectory is a dream that many weekend warriors share. Suddenly that imposing dogleg-right—the one with the large sand trap at the corner that your ball always seems to find—could be managed if you had a left-to-right power fade.
Shaping shots like a professional is difficult, though, and requires a lot of practice and—what's that other thing? Oh right—athletic talent. As it is, most of us are simply trying to keep the damn ball straight to avoid buying the first round of drinks at the 19th hole. But what if there were a club that would not only compensate for your errant swings, but could also grant you the capacity to hit a controlled draw or fade like the pros on TV?
That's the claim TaylorMade is making for its R15 driver ($430, taylormadegolf.com), the newest model in the company's critically acclaimed R-series. The R15's key feature is its Front Track System located near the face of the club on the sole. Inside the track are two 12.5-gram sliding weights that work to impart a slice or hook to your shot without you changing your swing. With a bit of practice, a golfer can use the club to hit a controlled fade or draw, as well.
A tool, included with the driver, loosens the weights so they can be positioned as you wish. Move the weights toward the heel and they work to offset your slice by imparting a draw. Slide them toward the toe and say goodbye to that duckhook. And if you are spraying the ball all over the course, slide the weights to the outside of the club face.
The R15 comes in either a 430-cc or 460-cc pear-shaped head in four lofts: 9.5 degrees, 10.5, 12 and 14. At the hosel of the Fuji Speeder 57 shaft is an adjustable loft-sleeve system that can alter the club's face angle, lie angle and loft preference up to four degrees. TaylorMade has also moved 75 percent of the driver's mass toward the clubface, which
reduces the spin of the ball and increases launch angle, maximizing the distance of your swing.
So the next time you're deciding between laying up or reaching for the R15, have confidence and opt for the driver and "let the big dog eat."